2013 Honda Civic Versus its Competitors

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Before Cars.com's $20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge in November 2013, we took a detailed look at how our long-term 2013 Honda Civic stacked up individually against the 2013 Nissan Sentra, 2013 Toyota Corolla (before the 2014 redesign) and 2014 Kia Forte.

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For 2013, the Civic gained notable improvements after a half-hearted 2012 redesign. Our yearlong goal with the Civic was to assess those changes against other compact sedans that entered our rotating fleet of manufacturer-provided test cars. Below, see how well the updated Civic performed head-to-head against three of those competitors in the following categories: cabin quality, noise, handling, acceleration, braking, ride, gas mileage, seats and roominess, and multimedia usability.

By Joe Bruzek | March 4, 2014 | Comments (8)

Cars.com Announces Its Best of 2014 Nominees

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Whenever we give out our Best of Award, we focus on quality, innovation and value, and all six of these nominees performed well in all three of those arenas. It's never easy to pick this award; the voting this year was particularly contentious. I can personally vouch for that. Here are this year's nominees:

The nominees for the Best of 2014 are (in alphabetical order):

  • Acura MDX
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Kia Forte
  • Mazda3
  • Mazda6

We will reveal the winner at our annual awards event on Jan. 14 in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show, and of course, here on Cars.com.

By Patrick Olsen | December 9, 2013 | Comments (4)

2014 Kia Forte Photo Gallery

Click any photo for a larger version. All photos by Evan Sears.

$20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge: Results
$20,000 Compact Sedan Challenge: Index

2014 Kia Forte LX

By David Thomas | November 10, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Kia Forte: Family Checklist

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Any parent would be thrilled to have the redesigned 2014 Kia Forte in the family garage; this compact sedan is good-looking, economical and surprisingly luxurious.

What a difference a year makes for the Forte. When I drove the 2013 model earlier this year, I likened it to an iPhone 4 living in an iPhone 5 world. It's impressive how much of an improvement the 2014 is over the 2013.

Some of my biggest beefs with the 2013 model were the steering and handling, but they've been improved for 2014. My 2014 Forte EX had the larger 173-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. It gets an EPA-estimated 24/36 mpg. I'm not sure what happened when it came to my gas mileage for the week — I averaged 22 mpg for my weeklong test drive — but I blame it on several days of commuting in Los Angeles' bumper-to-bumper traffic.

By Carrie Kim | October 11, 2013 | Comments (0)

Latest NHTSA Crash Tests Yield Mixed Results

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Of a dozen 2013 and 2014 models vying for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star safety club in the latest round of testing, less than half made the cut. NHTSA's crash tests examine vehicles' safety performance in frontal and side collisions, as well as roof strength in rollover accidents.

Both the 2014 Buick Regal with eAssist and Verano front-wheel-drive sedans made the grade. The Regal received fours in both frontal and rollover ratings and a five in side-collision tests for an overall score of five. The Verano, also finishing with an overall score of five, received fives in both frontal and side collisions, and a four in rollover tests.

By Matt Schmitz | September 17, 2013 | Comments (6)

What Hyundai-Kia's Latest Strike Means to Car Shoppers

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Hyundai-Kia's troubled home-turf labor relations continue. The latest chapter has Korean labor unions voting to strike over wage and benefit disputes with the South Korean automaker. The result could mean a production stoppage in its home country.

Hyundai-Kia, which together rank fifth in global sales, is the sixth on the U.S. sales pole, with year-to-date sales down 0.3%. Still, the automaker builds popular cars like the Hyundai Elantra and Sonata, as well as the Kia Optima and Soul. All four rank in the top 35 best-sellers so far this year — and although the automaker operates two assembly plants in the U.S., all Soul and a significant chunk of Optima, Elantra and Sonata vehicles hail from South Korea. A production stoppage could hamstring dealer supply in a matter of weeks.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2013 | Comments (1)

2014 Kia Forte: Stylish and Affordable, but Is It Safe?

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Kia's redesigned-for-2014 Forte impressed the Cars.com editorial staff during a head-to-head test against the benchmark Honda Civic, but in terms of safety, the compact sedan gets no love.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just announced that the 2014 Forte earned an overall score of four out of five stars. The sedan earned just three stars in front tests, five stars in side testing and a four-star rollover rating.

The Forte fared even worse in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing. Last week, the IIHS announced that the Forte failed the small front overlap test — the agency's newest and toughest test that simulates a crash where the front corner of the vehicle hits a smaller object like a tree or pole at 40 mph.

By Jennifer Geiger | August 12, 2013 | Comments (8)

IIHS Tests 12 Compact Cars: Six Pass, Six Fail

A half-dozen compact cars have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick+ honor, the nonprofit vehicle-safety advocacy group announced today. Of the 12 models evaluated, top awardees included the two- and four-door versions of the 2013 Honda Civic, 2013 Dodge Dart, 2013 Ford Focus, 2013 Hyundai Elantra and 2014 Scion tC. All of these received Good or Acceptable ratings overall in five different crash tests.

Six other cars — the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic, 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, 2013 Volkswagen Beetle, 2013 Nissan Sentra, 2013 Kia Soul and 2014 Kia Forte — earned Marginal or Poor ratings. "In some cases dummies' heads struck hard structures like the windshield pillar and instrument panel," IIHS media relations associate Kristin Nevels said in a statement.

By Matt Schmitz | August 8, 2013 | Comments (8)

2014 Kia Forte: Car Seat Check

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Thanks to its redesign, the 2014 Kia Forte sedan is now longer and wider than the previous generation. While that translates into a little more legroom — up 0.9 inch to 35.9 inches — it doesn't mean three child-safety seats can fit across this compact sedan.

By Jennifer Newman | July 2, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Honda Civic Versus 2014 Kia Forte

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Our long-term Honda Civic is getting much more use this summer as competitors flow into our test fleet. While a few may have grumbled about us pitting the redesigned 2013 Civic against the outgoing and outdated 2013 Toyota Corolla, they shouldn't have much to complain about with us pitting it against the even more thoroughly overhauled 2014 Kia Forte.

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However, there was a bit of a disparity this time around too. Our Forte test car was a fully loaded EX trim with a 173-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The base Forte comes with a 148-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder that is more comparable to the Civic's 140-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the car's only engine apart from the hybrid and Si versions.

If the engine wasn't a big enough difference, the nearly $6,000 bump in the Forte's MSRP and all the associated goodies arguably didn't make for a fair fight. Would the results of driving the two be as one-sided as the numbers implied? Editors David Thomas and Joe Wiesenfelder took the two on a loop of city, suburban and highway driving to find out.

By David Thomas | June 19, 2013 | Comments (29)

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